Saturday, January 14, 2017

Petition That Needs to Be Discarded

Not that I really expect the presidents, premiers, and prime ministers of Europe to read this blog, but if anybody Out There can forward this particular post to any of them, I think it's one they need to read:

Sir or Madame,

Your office may be receiving several "signatures" on a petition found at this web address:

Mine may appear on the list of signatures. Well, that's a false electronic signature. I attempted to click to see the petition, not to sign it. I've never seen the actual text of the petition, but I believe that, if I'd seen it, I would not have signed it.

This is not, of course, because the situation described in the e-mail that linked me to the petition is acceptable. It's because the petition described in the e-mail is unacceptable--vague, subjective, and overreaching. A petition to ban the abuse of pregnant mares, as described specifically in the e-mail, I would have signed on the basis of reasonable evidence that that abuse is taking place. A petition to ban whatever some (unidentified) person may have defined in some other (unspecified) document as "causing suffering to animals," which could theoretically include flyswatters, I would not sign, nor would I ever encourage anyone to sign such a petition.

Nor do I encourage anyone to take that kind of petition seriously. I urge you to discard this petition and ask the misguided people at to start all over, with specific petitions that document and oppose specific abuses, rather than using blurry, emotional terms to cover who knows what kinds of unpopular additions to a single popular petition.

Here is the e-mail--note that the only working links to the petition are to "sign," not to "read" or "copy"!

This is on fire -- in days over a million have joined! Add your name and share with everyone to make this even bigger before it’s delivered to ministers:

It’s a horror movie - hundreds of pregnant horses are hooked up to machines that drain their blood, even until death! All so big drug companies can sell their hormones to industrial pig farmers!! EU ministers meet in days and could ban this disgusting trade. Let’s jolt them into action with a massive call - sign the petition below *with one click*, and tell everyone!

Dear friends,

It’s straight out of a horror movie: hundreds of pregnant horses hooked up to blood-draining machines, some so weak they collapse and die. But we can stop this right now.

The industrial horse torture is driven by European pharmaceutical companies who use the blood to speed up factory farming! The EU has said it’s considering action, but so far nothing has happened.

No more horses need to die! Ministers are meeting in days -- let’s light a fire under the EU with a massive petition demanding they ban the abusive pregnant horse blood trade. Add your name to the petition below *with one click* and tell everyone:

Click to sign the petition

To the EU Parliament, Commission, and Council:
We call on you to ban the import to Europe of any goods produced using techniques which are cruel and cause suffering to animals. As a world leader in animal welfare, Europe should apply its own standards to products it imports.

Click to sign the petition

Death is far from the only horror: so much blood is taken that it can lead to shock and anaemia. And because only the blood of pregnant horses is valuable, they’re often forced into repeat pregnancies and abortions.

Demand is driven by pharmaceutical companies who sell the hormone found in pregnant horse blood to factory farmers to get pigs and other animals in “heat” on demand -- another layer of abuse in this sorry story.

If we shine a light on this horror by raising a massive global outcry now, we can help get a ban of all products made from the suffering of animals -- making it difficult for companies all over the world to make big profits from this disturbing industry. Add your name to the petition above with one click on the link, then forward this to friends and family -- let's build pressure on the EU to act!

Click to sign the petition
Horses are full of beauty, grace and majesty -- it's hard to understand how people could be so cruel. But when we come together in massive numbers to protect animals from the horrors they face every day, we can do incredible things. Let's do it now for these horses who need us to be their voice more than ever.

With hope,

Oliver, Rewan, Bert, Ari, Camille, Nataliya, Ricken and the entire Avaaz team

Please forward it back to the Avaaz team with the notification that, since it's impossible to determine how many of those millions of signatures were honestly collected, and it's also impossible to determine what those people may or may not have intended to support, this petition is garbage.